Search continues for Fair Chance captain’s body

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo: A coast guard interceptor vessel and larger patrol boat. Photo by Sureash Cholai

THE search for the body of ship captain Dexter Chance continues after four of five men missing from his vessel MV Fair Chance were recovered.

On April 2, seven men: Chance, Devon Celestine, Eric Calliste, Owen Prescott, Quincy Baptiste, Johnel McIntosh and Derrol Small set sail for St Vincent aboard the MV Fair Chance, owned and captained by Chance. The vessel was loaded with steel.

On reaching five nautical miles north of Monos Island, the vessel, after encountering rough waters, capsized. McIntosh of St Vincent and the Grenadines and Small of Grenada were rescued shortly after.

The ship began drifting towards Venezuela and had to be towed to Staubles Bay, Chaguaramas. It sank and was re-floated last week and docked at Staubles Bay where it was searched and the men’s bodies found on Monday.

The bodies were that of Calliste, Celestine and Prescott. Baptiste’s was recovered on April 8.

On Tuesday, Celestine’s wife, who did not want to be named, said the men were identified by their clothing by the surviving crew members. Calliste was identified by his gold tooth.

She said, based on the advanced stage of decomposition, the men’s identity will be confirmed with DNA testing.

Chance’s relatives, who also did not want to be identified, said they may sell the ship which, they said, is intact. An insurance agent from St Vincent is expected to arrive in the country this week to assess the damage and determine the seaworthiness of the ship before a decision is made on whether it will be sold.